We all can struggle to wake up in the morning, but for those that are caffeine dependant, you could be doing more harm than you realise. Caffeine in small doses is generally fine for consumption, but your daily coffee, whether you're a 3 cups a day or just one cup a day coffee drinker, could be causing chaos to your nervous system, especially if you find that you are particularly stressed. Taking a caffeine detox every so often will do wonders for your system! Here are my tips for healthier wake-up substitutes.
Lemon Water I drink lemon water every day, I love it! In summer I have a jug of water in the fridge with half a lemon, half a lime and around 5 mint leaves. It's delicious, refreshing and aids the liver with detoxification. I even have mint and lemon in my water bottle on my desk a few times a week. The only caution with this one is to try and use a straw to limit the acidity on your teeth.
Morning exercise Put your work-out gear on and walk part of the way to work. I know the days that I walk half an hour to the next train station in my gym gear, are the days where I feel the most energised when I arrive to the office. Even if the walk wasn't strenuous, I still feel like I have moved my body and done something physical, especially before I spend many hours at a desk with little movement. If you drive to work, make an effort to get a 20 minute walk in before you leave (walk the dog, snoop on neighbours..) or even arrive at work early and take a walk around the block. You will certainly feel more awake after it.
Fresh air and sunlight Our bodies have a natural cycle called the circadian rhythm. We are naturally designed to wake up to light and wind down from dusk. When you wake, open the curtains and your windows. This will activate your body into wake mode.
Get out of bed when your alarm first goes off If you wake before your alarm, get up then. When we fall back asleep or take our time getting up, we are creating a sluggish state which can set the tone for the day ahead. You will also benefit from being able to take your time getting ready, rather than rushing.
Get enough sleep If you find that you are still tired when your alarm goes off (we have all been there..) make an effort to get to bed earlier. Just add 30 mins every week or so until you find the right amount of sleep for you. You will know that you are getting enough sleep when you wake up feeling refreshed. That mythical morning fresh feeling does exist and you will definitely be less likely to reach for coffee when you feel this great in the morning!
Sleep with your phone in your living room We all know the "roll over, grab phone, alarm off, click email, scroll Facebook, roll out of bed" routine. Set an old-school alarm and have your phone in another room. This will force you to get out of bed earlier to check your phone and will also create a more peaceful sleeping environment.
Cooler than normal shower Whether this shower is at your workplace after your morning exercise or right after you get out of bed, a cooler than normal shower has calming effects on our nervous system, strengthens vagal tone and wakes your senses up and leaves you feeling extra fresh!
Let me know which healthier routine options work for you and if you have any other tips that work for you, leave a comment below - I would love to hear them!